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Environmental Degradation, Livelihood and Conflicts: A Focus on the Implications of the Diminishing Water Resources of Lake Chad for North-Eastern Nigeria

FC Onuoha


Lake Chad has been a source of economic livelihood for millions of people inhabiting the catchment areas in the four riparian states, namely: Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. However, in the last four decades, the size of the lake including its resources has continued to diminish. The impact of this depletion is being felt by Lake Chad basin population who depend on the lake for their means of livelihood. This paper
focuses on the diminishing natural resources of Lake Chad as an empirical referent to analyse the relationship that can develop among natural resource diminution, livelihood and conflicts. Of particular attention is the incidence of conflict between and among fishermen, pastoralists, farmers and sometimes state security agents, and the tendency of the conflicts to degenerate into large scale intra-ethnic, intra-state and interstate conflicts. The paper further draws attention to the implications of the diminishing water resources of the lake for the North-East zone of Nigeria, and makes recommendations suggested by the analysis.

African Journal on Conflict Resolution Vol. 8 (2) 2008: pp. 35-62
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eISSN: 1562-6997